January 13, 2021

The Perfectly Imperfect Me

Hello Leaders!

Welcome to the 8th edition of my LeaderLike You! Blog! After a far from 2020, I thought I’d share my feelings and thoughts about IMPERFECTION!

A huge thank you to anyone who has sent their success stories to us, please continue to do so!

For me one of the aspects of being human that meant the most for me in my life so far (aside from being a parent, father, companion, son, friend) is being with myself — it’s been to accept my imperfections

As you see in the photo of KinTsugi art which is Japanese for golden joinery. Kin means “golden”and Tsugi means rejoining and it’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. The metaphor for me is seeing our imperfections and aspects of ourselves as something beautiful, original and unique, rather than hiding them and trying to be perfect. When I discovered this delightful philosophy, it struck a chord in me.

There are several important elements with symbolism. The elements are broken potters, for me this represents the ups and downs and the vicissitudes in our lives; the cloth, which for me resembles our resilience that holds us together; the hammer which symbolizes the knocks we get in life and the ability to create change; the glue that holds it back together; and the beautiful gold that honors the things we have been through. 

I didn’t accept my imperfections for a long time, and therefore, by default, tried to be perfect! I failed miserably because I saw life as binary. That meant it was black or white, on or off, 0 or 100. The outcome, well it rendered in me a perfectly unhappy man, and not as successful as I wanted.

In accepting my imperfections, it freed up a lot of that binary world, and allowed me to show up as me the imperfect me, with all my peccadilloes, my shortcomings, my inaccuracies, my insecurities.

What it ended up doing was allowing me to show up and be me. It allowed me to accept that what I was about to say or do would not be perfect. That was wonderful because it allowed me to dare more, be more, do more, take on more, and grow into things!

Also, what it allowed me to do was remove a level of stress and anxiety that I had to “be” a certain “thing”, or “become” a certain thing by a certain time.

So, in essence it’s the very art of my own imperfection that becomes so beautiful. This it is not out of laziness. It actually liberates so many other sides of oneself. I still adhere to top quality; I just know I don’t have to pedestalize myself or others.

Doing the work I do today around presentation skills and impact, I ask people “are you are recovering perfectionist”

Sometimes they look at me as if to say, “well what do you mean?” 

I say, “well because being perfect is tall order, strive for quality be open and allow yourself to be imperfect and as you do it accept other people’s imperfections too, it opens up a lot of doors!

I’ve come to realize that audiences like the perfect presenter less and endear more to the human who makes mistakes and recovers from them.

It helped me discover that we can be successful by design, not by chance through conscious responses instead of unconscious reactions –with the use of a journal, we can look back at what went wrong and why, recovering from our mistakes as human beings.

There are no absolutes on being a leader, it’s asking what is the leaderlike behavior for this situation.

So, with that, go be leaderlike – and enjoy your imperfections.

Love to hear your questions comments and discoveries.

Please feel free to send your professional or personal leadership stories to hello@leaderlikeyou.com You may just feature in a future BLOG!